Hawaiʻi is often called the melting pot of the Pacific because of the diverse cultures of its residents. The population in Hawaiʻi has no “majority,” everyone is a member of a minority group. Hawaiʻi Public Radio knows that diversity among its staff, management, and board is the key to understanding its community, connecting with it, and providing relevant and engaging content. As a statewide network, diversity requires more than addressing the basic elements of gender, age, race, religion, culture, life experiences, and economic status. We also need to be sensitive to the differences that exist between the residents of the islands. As we go forward we will continue to seek and hire candidates for staff, management, and board positions that at a minimum maintain, but preferably broaden, the diversity that currently exists at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
Procedures followed by Hawaiʻi Public Radio will meet the standards of federal and state law, Equal Employment Opportunity guidelines, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Diversity Eligibility Criteria.
In the past year HPR has incorporated its diversity goals in its selection of new board members, staff positions, and internships. These additions reflect diversity in gender, race, and age. Bill Dorman, News Director of Hawaiʻi Public Radio, highlights, in a memo, the impact diversity has on news coverage at HPR. Much of what he describes applies to the station as a whole. Two excerpts from his memo follow. He states “At Hawaiʻi Public Radio, our news staff combines birthplaces from Honolulu to Hilo and from New York City to the California coast. Ethnic backgrounds include representations of Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, Irish, Jewish and other cultures, as well as a whole lot of mixing. And in that sense we truly represent the community we cover.” When we look at the station as a whole, the cultures, ethnic backgrounds, and birthplaces are even more diverse. Bill ends his memo with “There is a Hawaiian word called 'kuleana,' which is sometimes defined as 'personal responsibility' or 'obligation.' But it also includes an element of privilege within that responsibility – and for our newsroom, that includes the feeling that we are privileged to take responsibility for the coverage of everyone in our community – and to reflect the rich diversity not only in the specifics of our daily reporting, but also in the spirit that we bring to that coverage.” This too, is an understanding that is embraced by the station’s staff, management, and board of directors.
In the upcoming year, HPR will continue to include qualified, diverse individuals as candidates for job openings, internships, senior leadership positions, and its board of directors. It will also establish a procedure to report its progress toward meeting its diversity goals to its board of directors or a committee of the board of directors annually.